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Top Ten Tips for First Time Managers

Top Ten Tips for First Time Managers

Everybody wants to become a leader. You may vie for it, I might die for it; but in reality not everybody can make a good leader.

Leadership does seek persons who are unique in their own way. One unique element which I’ve noticed in managers or leaders is that when they enter the work place, they bring along with them a kind of aura that has the power to make others submissive and polite.

Not to say they are over-powering but definitely the sub-ordinates would love to greet their heads with such vigor so as to be in their good books combined with a sense of loyalty laced with respect.

This session talks about “First Time Managers” who have reached the position by chance or choice and the etiquettes needed to be bestowed upon that position.

1. Learning is Eternal:

“கற்றது கைமண் அளவு, கல்லாதது உலகளவு –This quote by the famous Tamil lady poet Avvaiyar who lived in 13th century reminds you “What you have learned is a mere handful; what you haven’t learned is the size of the world” and exhibited at NASA.

It can also be written as “Known is a drop, unknown is an Ocean.” See how appropriate she is in indicating the finer points in our lives- just because you are a team leader or a manager does not mean that you are near perfect.

You may be lacking the self-confidence to lead a team or you might be falling short in communicating clearly with the team down the line.

It is always better to play along with the team, understand their psychology and at the same time exercise your rights at the right spots. You will stand to gain so much by being flexible and empathetic.

2. Communication is the Key:

Here I want to take the help of the ManagementGuru Peter Drucker who prescribed the medicine for better management which is “Management by Objectives.”

Keep your team fully informed of project goals, priorities, and all-important deadlines and also involve them to set short term goals. A periodical review of the goals and results would put them in place and make your work easy.

Effective communication makes you trust worthy in the eyes of your team, also provides clear direction and a sense of belongingness.

3. Inspire your Team:

Passion is one element that is infectious and the other being smile. If you are passionate and sincere in your work, the enthusiasm flows like honey on ice-cream all over the workplace.

A good manager creates that “Feel-Good-Factor’ whenever he is around. It is his confidence, emotional stability, communication and determination that gets carried on facilitating effective accomplishment of the enterprise goals.

An infographic from AN ETHICAL ISLAND– A great guide for leaders and managers…


Top Ten Tips for First Time Managers

4. Be a Friend:

Efficient managers understand the pulse of work-force just from their body language and communicating styles. It becomes difficult sometimes to read between the lines when employees are hard nuts to crack and would not explicitly convey or talk about important issues that are bothering them.

This may be due to fear, anxiety or peer pressure.  These are the times when a manager has to behave like a friend in listening to them patiently to understand the crux of the problem so as to find a suitable solution.

5. Spontaneous appreciation and Mild Criticism:

Think about the happiness you derive when somebody appreciates you for a good effort or achievement. The same applies to your team also, right! Appreciation for the sake of appreciating will fetch you only negative results, it has to be spontaneous.

Even a mild nod of approval, a pretty thanking smile or a thumbs-up signal can do wonders.  Mild Criticism always motivates an individual  and  it is a warning signal for other employees too.

Food for thought

An employee recently told me about her boss’s lack of empathy and ability to relate to his team. She concluded by saying, “I don’t wish him any ill will.  But if he were to die first, I would want his heart, because it’s never been used.” Ouch! – http://www.peterstark.com/6-ways-banish-boss-bashing/

Get inspired with these leadership quotes by famous personalities in the likes of Andrew Carnegie,  John.C.Maxwell and Martin Luther King Jr.


Leadership tips for first time managers

Leadership quotes for all time

6. Go for Bold Decisions:

Be clear in your decisions and policies– do not compromise them for the sake of people or situations. If you are a bold and unwavering decision maker your team will derive much inspiration to work towards those decisions. I have seen many teams going berserk due to lack of decision-making ability of their leader.

7. Show interest in their career advancement- Grow and Let others Grow.

How can you take your employees to the next level? If a person working under you is strong in a particular area say, sales, you can make him/her contribute more by way of recognition and rewards.

Another alternative is to make individuals move out of their comfort zones to experiment and explore their own strengths and areas for improvement. Know where they want to go; motivate them by helping them get there.



8. Delegate

It is always a good practice to share the work to get great results. You should know how to extract work from your sub-ordinates and at the same time be responsible for the end-result. This means you will be involved in the whole process right from planning to successful execution.


“You can Delegate Authority but not Responsibility.”

9. Treat your team as if they were your family:

Money, recognition, job security, safety, family are some of the factors that add meaning to the lives of people. While one may be aiming for a higher position in job, other may be interested in a pay hike or a bonus.

Try to find out what is the real motivating factor behind each and every person working for you and help them achieve their goals. In this process, you will witness an increase in  productivity of the organization as feeling of ‘being wanted and taken care of’ certainly improves their morale

10. Put yourself to acid test and be patient:

You have to work in tandem with your line and staff, take guidance from your chief and colleagues, most importantly discuss your problems with your spouse who will be a great source of support.

Leading a team is never an easy task but if you are determined, you will make a great leader and in doing so, you will definitely reach next levels to become a great manager.